140 visitors paid a visit to the new Process Technology Center (PTC) at the FHNW Campus Muttenz where the School invested 30 million Swiss francs in equipment and installations. The opening of the PTC, on June 20th 2019, was an impressive demonstration of the School of Life Sciences located in the fascinating new Kubuk in Muttenz. The University of Applied Sciences (FHNW) and within this organisation, the School of Life Sciences, is becoming an increasingly vital part in the economic system of Basel.
Process development and scale-up of chemical and pharmaceutical processes are an important step towards successful production. But equipment is expensive and companies rely more and more on external partnerships to support their own research and development teams for process design, scale-up and small scale productions. This gap seems now certainly filled by the new PTC.
Invitation to collaborate
In his speech, Falko Schlottig, Director of the School of Life Sciences, said: “The PTC covers major parts of the value chain for the Life Science and Chemical industry, It will be a meeting point between education and advanced training, praxis and science.” Further, he invited companies to collaborate with professors and scientific staff in the PTC and offered the possibility to support FHNW spin-offs with PTC infrastructure.
All aspects of chemical and pharmaceutical scale-up and small-scale production can be covered at the PTC – from classical and modern chemistry to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical processes to environmental solutions. The installations cover many different operations, examples are: A 100 liter reaction vessel with a rectification column, biofermenters, freeze drier, sterile filling of vials for preclinical studies and water purification systems for environmental studies. The team and students of the PTC work closely together with the chemical- andr bioanalytical institute, material sciences and additive manufacturing.
A unique aspect of this setup is the dual use of the PTC. It provides the industry an easy access to most-needed process equipment and it is being used to train students with real, but small-scale production equipment. And it is being well-used. Altogether, 500 students at the School of Life Sciences are being trained for their future job and the scientific staff including the students are working on projects of over 100 companies.
In the words of Falko Schlottig, Director of the School of Life Sciences “We want to be THE partner and THE university for Life Sciences.” The opening of the PTC is a significant step towards this goal. Now it is up to the companies to use these facilitites.